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Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation Graphic Arts Department Summer Internship

The Library Company of Philadelphia seeks undergraduate or graduate student candidates to assist in the processing of the William T. McAllister Collection of Graphic Materials. The Library Company is an independent research library concentrating on American society and culture from the 17th through the 19th centuries. Free and open to the public, the Library Company houses an extensive non-circulating collection of rare books, manuscripts, broadsides, ephemera, prints, photographs, and works of art. Our mission is to foster scholarship in and increase public understanding of American history before 1900 by preserving and interpreting the valuable materials in our care.

The Graphic Arts Department intern will work with the William T. McAllister Collection of Graphic Materials, a family archive containing over 200 items dated between the 1850s and early 1900s collected by a Philadelphia family that was at the center of early photography through their nationally known business as manufacturers and retailers of optical equipment, mathematical instruments, and commercial photographs. The collection of scrapbooks, albums, loose ephemera, photographs, and glass negatives includes McAllister family photographs, views of Philadelphia and Philadelphia suburbs, and family collectibles such as a sketchbook, St. Andrew’s Society certificate (society believed to be the oldest charitable membership organization in continuous existence in North America), and albums with cartes de visite depicting "celebrities" and popular art reproductions. The intern will further inventory, describe, arrange, accession, and house the collection, including the careful handling of glass negatives.

Other curatorial projects, time permitting, will include the inventory of a scrapbook that contains hundreds of later 19th-century Philadelphia-related trade cards and complementary commercial ephemera. The intern will also describe their work and progress through blog posts and other social media platforms used by the Library Company. The intern will be provided with an excellent introduction to curatorial work at a special collections institution with a long and continual history of collecting, preserving, and providing access to rare materials. Desired skills include attention to detail, conscientious handling of fragile materials, and responsiveness to feedback. The intern will be supervised by Curator of Graphic Arts and Director of the Visual Culture Program Erika Piola.

A stipend of $5000 is available for an 8-10 week period, 4-5 days per week on-site, between May and August 2024.

Please email your letter of interest with availability and resume to Erika Piola at The deadline to apply is March 1, 2024.

This internship has been made possible through the support of the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.
Relevant research areas: 19th Century

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